Bismarck Calvary United Methodist
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
A United Methodist Congregation

GETTING TO KNOW YOU....

 
 
COME ON, SPRING

 

We are moving through the ‘brown’ days of winter and most of us are eagerly looking forward to the sights, sounds, and smells of spring.  The photo below was taken in the summer of 2012.  Frieda Roth’s green thumb always creates a gorgeous display in the church’s flower bed and her hard work produced exceptional results last summer. 

ENJOY THE VIEW!

 
 
 
EDNA WETZEL
 
Background: Edna Wetzel is a relatively new member of our congregation, but she and her late husband, Ray, have been friends of the congregation for a long time. She is a member of the Tuesday morning women’s bible study. 
 
Edna was born on her parents’ farm near Streeter, ND. She was one of two surviving children; the other one was her brother who was eleven years older than she. Her classroom education took place in her home area, and she graduated from Streeter High School in 1953.
 
In responding to the question of how she and Raymond met, she stated that she was walking home from an evening with friends when a young man from Danzig (south of Wishek) came driving by and stopped to talk to her. In those days, it was safe to have conversations with strangers and as it turned out, that conversation was the beginning of their courtship. They were married on November 25, 1954, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Streeter.
 
Family: Edna and Ray had four children; two boys and two girls. The girls are Roxanne, who lives in Colorado and Vydell who lives in California. The boys are Roger, of Bismarck, and Lynn, who lives in Fargo. There are two grandsons and three granddaughters. 
 
Vocations: The Wetzels purchased a farm early in their married life and Edna still owns it. Some 12 years ago, in anticipation of their retirement, Edna and Ray purchased a home in Bismarck. After just a few days of city life, Ray declared he could not leave the farm completely and become an urban dweller. And so it was decided that they would share and maintain two homes, one in Bismarck and one on the farm near Streeter. Edna secured a job for herself at St. Vincent’s Nursing Home in the Housekeeping Department and worked in that capacity a full ten years and Ray returned to his farming interests. Whomever had the longest succession of ‘days off’ would commute to the “other” home and their lives continued peacefully and contentedly.
 
Hobbies: Edna has a long list of interests to this day. When her children were young and they lived on the farm, she raised large gardens and canned and preserved her harvests. Edna still does some canning but was a little shy about the quality and description of the products she ‘puts up’ every year, but one just knows she makes wonderful pickles, canned fruits, etc. Edna, when questioned about her kitchen skills, simply states, “Well, they say the _________ (insert your favorite here: pickles, tomato products, baked goods, etc) taste good.” She continues to share the products of those kitchen skills with her family. Her favorite jam is rhubarb and she has about seven plants in her yard! 
 
Edna also does embroidery, crochets with either yarn or thread, and she loves to read and reads anything she can get her hands on. She has a large collection of books and doesn’t want to part with any of them.
 
Spiritual Background: Edna’s earliest church experience was in the Neudorf Lutheran Church in rural Streeter where only the German language was spoken. Ray’s family was Methodist, and Edna started attending the Methodist church upon their marriage.
 
Did You Know?  Ray served in the military in Germany for two years during the Korean War. He had an opportunity to serve his country in Germany, rather than a war zone, because he spoke German fluently.
 
Edna and Ray did quite a bit of traveling in their life together. Edna will be gone most of November as she is flying to Colorado to attend her oldest grandson’s wedding, and then continuing on to spend time with her daughter in California.
 
Edna stated that as a youngster, she often felt lonely on the farm since she had only one brother and he was 11 years older than she. Even now, she says she needs to be around people and has friends, telephone friends, and attends the Senior Citizens’ Center at least weekly. Ray preferred solitude; which once again goes to show us that opposites do attract!
 
Edna asked that we use a photo of her and Ray together; Ray passed away in December of 2010. She also shared the beautiful last words that Ray spoke to her before his passing. He said to Edna, “Go on with your life and be happy. Keep living your life. And always believe in God, and keep attending church as much as you possibly can.” What a beautiful legacy he left for his sweetheart of 56 years.
 
 
BEV MCCAULEY
 
     Bev (a/k/a BJ) McCauley was formerly a Calvary Church friend who has been adopted into the Calvary Church family. She is a published writer among other vocations and many avocations. Bev was asked to ‘self-interview’ for this newsletter, and her is what she wrote:
 
BACKGROUND: Born, raised and attended public schools through UND in Grand Forks, ND. After marriage, lived in Fargo, back to Grand Forks, then Bismarck and finally Monett, Missouri. 
 
FAMILY: Dad died when I was 6; mom died when I was 23. I have one wonderful brother, Bob Mazurek, thus my stay in Bismarck every summer :>) My children are David, Daniel, Michael, Thomas, Catherine.
 
Vocations: Through correspondence school, LaSalle University of Chicago, I earned an Associate in Interior Design. BJ Designs in Bismarck (14 years) – interior design and decorating. Worked with Women’s Resource Closet; started and worked w/Families Anonymous (parents of teens get together and discuss problems and find solutions). Shade Tree Players with Darrell Hildebrand, Head Librarian, started BJ Typing and Creative Writing (editing manuscripts, theses, and ghost writing). This is ongoing: I am working on a murder mystery novel with a retired psychiatrist from Little Rock, Arkansas. Currently completing and editing my own manuscripts for 2 books: DANNY BEN and TO A NEW MOM FROM A USED ONE. Hope to have them done before December 2012. Tried SEVERAL times to finish college – 5 children and 23 foster children later – I DID IT!!   I was 67 years old and got my Bachelors Degree in Art at Missouri Southern, Joplin, MO. I did it for me. Took my own advice. For many years in my motivational workshops, I would tell people about the bumblebee. I wear bumblebee pins on my lapels, shirts, sleeves etc. Aerodynamically, the bumblebee is not designed to fly. YET HE FLIES!!!!!   Why? Because no one told him he couldn’t. Don’t let ANYONE tell you what you can and can’t do!!!!
 
HOBBIES: Writing, Reading, Enjoying Retirement 
 
SPIRITUAL BACKGROUND: Born, baptized, and raised Catholic.
 
Following the communion worship service here at Calvary Church on July 29, Bev was moved to write the poem that appears on the next page. She was asked to present it to the congregation the Sunday before she returned to her home in Missouri. This photo is of Bev read ing a poem she wrote in honor of Bob and Bea Bale at their 60th wedding anniversary celebration at Senior Shepherds Potluck on August 3.
 
ODE TO MY EXTRAORDINARY CALVARY UM FAMILY
 
You might think that you are just ordinary people
Meeting under this ordinary steeple
With an ordinary pastor, and the ordinary stuff that you do. . . .
But let me express the EXTRAORDINARY things about you.
 
So giving of your friendship and so very kind
You embrace me as yours, nearly blows my mind.
I’m not a member, just a summer drop-in sorta gal
But you smile when you first see me, and when I leave, you wish me well.
 
I’m invited to social events, to UMW, and to Senior Shepherd’s meal
Do you have any idea of how much a part of it, I feel?
Pastor Perry welcomes me each year, BY NAME
The Greeters and the Ushers, they each do the same.
Your Secretary, Donna, is a beacon, a bright light that shines
Her smile even comes right though that phone, every time.
 
Communion Sunday was almost more than I could bear
An explanation of this I would like to share.
I’m not certain I can explain, but please let me try.
Communion Sunday actually made me cry.
 
We shared the bread of life together, a uniting force for me
We shared the wine together, and this was truly the key.
There was that moment when we all gave pause to reflect upon His Glory
The electricity or energy flowed between us; but that is not the whole story.
 
Faith, Hope and Love, The greatest of which is love
These are directives from above.
You are NOT ordinary: you are special, set apart
Operating independently, yet with one loving heart.
 
As I leave North Dakota, heading for family and home
This time it is different, thus inspiring my poem.
Vacation time is over; Time to say goodbye
It is harder to do so . . . . Now, I think I know why.
 
My life will resume in Missouri, it’s true
But I’m leaving my Calvary   Family . . . all of you.
 
                                                                — BJ Creations -2012
 
 
BOB & BEA BALE 
 

BACKGROUNDS:  The Bales have deep North Dakota roots — between them they had four sets of grandparents who all homesteaded in this state.  In fact, Bea’s four grandparents traveled to the United States on the same ship.  Bea was born and raised in farming communities in the Grand Forks area and is of Germans from Russia descent.  Bob was born in Wahpeton with an eclectic mix in ethnicity that includes German, Scottish, Irish, English and Norwegian-Swede among others, but for most of his life has summed it up as Scandinavian. 

EdUCATIONS/VocationS:  Bea’s parents valued education and urged Bea to obtain a college degree upon graduating from Grand Forks Central High School in 1947.  Bea started college as a business major at the University of North Dakota and then during her sophomore year changed her major to social work.  Following her graduation from UND she worked for a year as the social worker for the Grafton State School (now named North Dakota Developmental Center).   

Bob’s family moved from Wahpeton to Velva where Bob graduated from high school in 1946.  His Dad was a salesman for a culvert company and later became the manager of the company.  Bob served in the US Army from 1946 to 1947 and spent military time in Japan.  Upon completion o   f his military service, Bob enrolled at the University of North Dakota majoring in commerce with an accounting discipline.  Bob started his career with Northwestern Bell in accounting in Fargo. 

Bob and Bea met while attending UND and were married August 8, 1952; their first home was in Fargo.  Bob was offered a job in 1956 as a government auditor in the Rural Electrification Administration.  Through the years, his work put him on the roads in North Dakota as telephone service became established and electricity companies formed cooperatives.  He also worked in loans and operations as well as construction contracts as cooperatives became established.   

Bea started piano lessons when she was about eight years of age.  She played piano at church as a very young teenager.  Later, she taught piano and organ lessons for many years.  Bea took organ lessons as an adult, which she enjoyed very much.  

Family:  Bob and Bea were blessed with two children:  Bruce and Kris (Winckler) and they have a granddaughter, Lauren.  Both of their children are musically gifted. 

Hobbies:  While both the Bales have individual interests, they share a number of hobbies.  Bea enjoys crossword puzzles and Sudoku while Bob is interested in hunting, fishing, and stamp and coin collecting.  When their children were young, the Bales enjoyed family camping and day trips with picnics.  Bea and Bob both love to read, they have a flower garden, feed and watch birds, and in the winter have pheasants feeding in their yard. 

Spiritual Backgrounds:  Bea was raised in the Evangelical United Brethren church.  Sunday worship attendance was a ‘given’ in their household with preparations beginning on Saturday.  Bob was raised in the Congregational Church.   

The Bales advice for a contentED marriage: 

Bob traveled to do his work.  When he came home for weekends, the four of them did special activities together to make good memories.  Christmas was a special time and there was special baking, meal menus, and decorating — especially the living room, which is still true today.  The children still comment how ‘Christmasy’ it continues to be in their home.  This “makes all the extra work “worth doing”. 

Attending church was always an important activity for Bob and Bea.  As is true for many people as time goes on, the Bales are not able to attend as regularly as they would like.  But their faith in God is strong and continues to grow.  They share this faith with daily devotions.

The Calvary Church family wishes Bob and Bea a Blessed and Happy 60th Anniversary

 
 
ALBON (Red) SCHMIDT
Background:
Just like quite a number Calvary Church Family members do, Red Schmidt hails from the Elgin vicinity. Red was born in Elgin and lived the first six years of his life in Raleigh, North Dakota, before his family moved to Bismarck. Red is of German-Irish lineage; his Grandpa Schmidt was a German immigrant to this country. He remembers his mom’s homemade bread, buns, and vegetable soup were especially good-tasting
 
Family:
There were four children in his family of origin; he had three older sisters one of whom is now deceased. He has six nieces and nephews and four great-nieces and great-nephews. Red spends holidays with a niece and her family in Mandan. Red has always had a dog in his life; currently his dog companion is “Lucky”, a shelter dog that truly was ‘lucky’ when the folks at the Central Dakota Humane Society matched him up with Red. Lucky is pictured with Red at left. Red has had a number of different dog breeds and prefers mixed breeds
 
Vocation:
Although Red is now enjoying a much-deserved retirement, his work life was spent working as a service station attendant and mechanic. He worked for 30 years at Werner’s Standard, a service station located on Main Avenue here in Bismarck for many years before “urban development”. Then he worked at Kirkwood Standard for another 16 years before he retired. 
 
Hobbies:
For many years, Red enjoyed camping and fishing in his free time. He also developed a fondness for woodworking, which is a hobby he continues to work in to this day. He builds just about anything one can imagine but specializes in bird, bat, and butterfly houses, as well as step-stools, decorative planters and wishing wells. Last summer, a woman who lives on a well-traveled corner lot in Bismarck requested he build a “doggie drinking station” which she placed on the corner of her lot and kept filled with cold water for the dogs being walked in the neighborhood.
 
Spiritual Background:
Red regularly attends worship here at Calvary and has been doing so for about the past ten years. During his working years, he most often had to work on the weekends. Calvary people ‘in the know’ indicated that Red was very generous with his woodworking skills during the years Calvary Kids was held here, as well as making table decorations for special church dinners.
 
Did You Know?
Red is a member of the Bismarck area Farmers’ Market Association and regularly exhibits the items he builds at the market held in the K-Mart lot twice a week during the summer? He has a variety of products for sale at this event – check it out sometime this summer when you’re at the Farmers Market.
 
 
IDA LAVACHEK

    The Calvary Church family was invited to the 99th birthday party for Ida Lavachek on February 18, 2012.  Ida has been a long-time friend of the Calvary congregation, attended worship here and took part in the Senior Shepherds Potlucks.  Here are highlights of a conversation Ida had with Sue Schneider and Donna Thiede on March 27.

     Ida Metzger was born in Hebron, North Dakota, into a family that consisted of 5 brothers and two sisters.  She completed grade eight in elementary school and started high school classes, but quit high school at age 15 to care for her bed-ridden mother and invalid sister until their deaths.  Her mother was in terrible pain for years as a result of kidney stones, for which there was no treatment at the time.  While tending to the ill of her family, Ida was also the homemaker for her dad and two brothers.  Later in life she furthered her education by way of correspondence courses.

     Because of her serious responsibilities, young Miss Metzger would only very occasionally be able to join her friends and acquaintances for social events such as dances.  And on the rare occasions she was able to have a little time away from home, she was expected to arrive home from the evening outing early because she was the family nursemaid.

     As we visited with Ida, she wanted to be sure that her remembrances reflected two very important features.  The first was that she had “the best father and lovely brothers”, who provided much moral support in addition to help with the heavier homemaking chores.  Her father would rise early on wash day to prepare the things Ida would need to do the family’s laundry.  She fondly remembers the wonderful fragrance of line-dried clothing and linens.  And as modern conveniences became available, her father bought and brought home the first washing machine in the surrounding neighborhood.

     Ida wants readers to know that despite her caretaking and housekeeping responsibilities, her life was good and pleasurable.  Even during her mom’s and sister’s illnesses, the house was filled with music.  The healthy people in the household sang most every evening, always Christian hymns.  The family was active in the Hebron Evangelical United Brethren Church in worship, song, and Sunday School.  Ida also has happy memories of coloring Easter eggs, and receiving beautiful dolls at Christmas time.

     As a young woman, she was introduced by one of her girlfriends to a gentleman by the name of Deane Lavacheck.  Her girlfriend’s opinion was that Ida and Deane were a good match – and that opinion proved right on!  Deane and Ida were married at Ida’s home because the mom and sister needed what is now referred to as 24/7 care and while Ida remembers the marriage ceremony, she also remembers that it was not celebrated as a special day because of family circumstances. 

     Upon the passing on of her mother and sister, Ida and Deane made their way to a farm in the Carson, ND, vicinity.  In addition to farming, Deane taught school and Ida became involved in numerous activities – a routine she maintained throughout her lifetime until recent years.  When Ida was in her early 40’s, she and Deane became the parents of a son, John, and a daughter, Kathy, both of whom live in Bismarck.  Deane was also musically inclined and sang and played banjo at barn dances.  Ida’s activities included gardening, sewing (even lingerie!), homemakers’ clubs, the Ladies Aid Society, teaching Sunday and Bible School, singing in the church choir and a women’s quartet.  At one point in their lives, Ida and Deane managed a Gambles Store, and she also did substitute teaching.  When she moved to Mandan, she worked in the dietary department at Mandan Hospital.  At the time she lived in northeast Mandan (current Eagles Club area) and always walked to and from work (northwest Mandan).

     Earlier in this article, reference was made to Ida’s request for this article to be very clear about two features of her life.  The first was her wonderful father.  The second item she wanted stressed was that Deane was the most special thing to happen in her life because he was always and forever a loving husband and made her feel cherished every day of their life together. 

     Ida is now a resident of the Baptist Nursing Home; her hearing is diminished and she has become blind.  She speaks in a clear, strong voice and exudes class and charm.  She is dressed in lovely clothing and, at her request, is appropriately accessorized; her white hair is full and lovely and her fingernails are manicured and polished. 

     By God’s grace and care, may more of us arrive at the place in our lives where Ida has arrived, and also share the message that we’ve worked hard, loved much, and been loved and cherished.

A special thank you to Sue Schneider who accompanied me on this visit with Ida and helped prompt memories.  Sue’s father, Carl Metzger and Marion Nagel’s father, Chris Metzger, were Ida’s brothers.  Donna T.

 
AL & GINNY SHERMAN
 

Background:  Ginny was born in New Leipzig, ND, the oldest of nine children in a farm family.  Al was born east of Bismarck, and grew up in the vicinities of Sterling, Driscoll, and Moffit.  The two met here in Bismarck where Ginny worked as a nurses’ aide and Al had friends.


Family:  Al and Ginny are the parents of three sons, two of whom have served in the armed forces in the Middle East.  The Shermans have five grandchildren and  a sixth is on the way! 

Vocations:  Ginny worked for five years as a nurses’ aide, then when her children were grown, she became a Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) bus driver for nine years.  That service was taken over by the Bis-Man Transit Company and Ginny continued working under that ‘umbrella’ for another sixteen years. 

Al has worked in the body shop for what is now Kupper Chevrolet for 42 years and currently has the responsibility of assessing damages on a vehicle, obtaining all the parts required for the individual jobs, verifying that all items are in stock, then scheduling the job for completion. 

Hobbies:  Ginny enjoys playing cards as well as spending time over coffee with a circle of friends.  At one time, she and Al raised a large vegetable garden and did quite a bit of canning and pickling.  They no longer raise vegetables, but Ginny enjoys green plants (as is evidenced by the beautiful coleus in the church foyer) and flower beds in their yard.  Al likes to hunt – primarily game birds and coyotes.  He also enjoys fishing. 

Spiritual Backgrounds:  Al’s first church home was at Amelia Bailey United Methodist Church in Moffit.  Ginny indicate that her father was musically inclined and sang in the church choir when she was a youngster.  She taught Sunday School while living in the New Leipzig area.  Both she and Al attend Bible Study here at Calvary and they both sing in the choir.  Al originally started singing in the choir at the urging of Marie Cissell. 

Other Interests:  Ginny was the secretary for the wrestling teams while their boys were in school and participated in wrestling.  She also was active in the housing association they lived in prior to the subdivision becoming annexed to the City of Mandan. 

Both Ginny and Al enjoy traveling a great deal.  When asked their favorite location to visit, they responded simultaneously “Hawaii”!  Their first visit there took place when one of their military sons was stationed in that state but they have made subsequent trips because they’ve enjoyed it so much.
 

 

VIOLA SEBASTIAN

BACKGROUND:  Vi Sebastian was born on a farm north of Elgin, North Dakota, on July 10, 1931; the youngest in a family of 13 children.  There were two siblings whom Vi didn’t have the opportunity to know:  the second eldest son of the family died of spinal meningitis at the age of 15 and the eldest daughter died of pneumonia at the age of 9.  Vi attended a country school in the elementary grades and when the family moved into Elgin, she graduated from high school there.  She and John met when she was 16 and Vi was actually dating a friend of John’s.  When things didn’t work out for Vi and John’s friend, “Johnny was right there”.  They dated a while and discussed marrying but John felt he had to do his stint in the military.  John was in the army from 1951 to 1953, serving 10 months in Korea.  He didn’t want to tie Vi down by marrying her before his military service, reasoning that he faced serious uncertainties.  Vi was agreeable to his reasoning, but always felt John was the man for her and that she would marry him one day.  That day was August 2, 1953.  Following their marriage, they moved to Bismarck were John had secured employment with the State Highway Department.  Their first home in Bismarck was a small apartment; they eventually bought a two bedroom home without a basement.  Through the years and as their family grew, John and Vi added to the home that eventually became a five bedroom home with a full basement!  Vi stated John was a very talented individual who could build as well as do mechanical work – skills that served them well throughout their lives together.  

Family:  Vi and John had four children.  Vi indicated she always wanted two boys and two girls – in that order – and that’s exactly what happened!  The children are John, Jr. who lives in Bismarck, Mark in Minnesota, Barbara of Bismarck, and Deborah in Montana.  Vi has six grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, one great grandson, and six great granddaughters. 

VocationS:  As stated previously, John Sr.’s career started with the Highway Department where he worked for five years.  He then became yard supervisor for Wheeler Lumber Bridge and Supply where he worked for 15 years before he was injured on the job.  Following this work-related injury, John Sr. suffered with back problems that caused him to retire.  Vi’s work history started at Vossler’s – a grocery and dry goods store in Elgin where she started working the month before she turned 16.  At the time, young people could not apply for a social security number until age 16, so she worked for one month without that “official” identity which these days is assigned practically at birth!  After graduating high school, Vi taught at a country school for a year before her marriage.  John’s desire was for Vi to be a stay-at-home mom, and she obliged by taking care of the children and the home.  When Barbara turned age 5, Vi started selling Avon products which she did for four years.  After that, she worked at Montgomery Ward for five years, off-and-on for her brother’s State Farm Agency, and eventually worked at JC Penney’s until retiring in 1994. 

Hobbies:  Vi’s hobbies are playing the accordion and organ, and reading.  She and another member from the Calvary congregation, Clarence Hust, have entertained countless times over the past 15 years at area nursing homes, care centers, etc. with Vi playing accordion and Clarence playing guitar.  Clarence’s wife, Marilyn, sang with them for a time.

Spiritual AND MUSICAL Background:  Vi shared that her parents both had wonderful singing voices.  She started playing the old pump organ by ear at a very young age; Jesus Loves Me was the first song she learned to play.  Her Dad then taught her to harmonize and the rest, as they say, is history.  Vi was confirmed at age 13 and started singing at age 14 with the choir at the family’s country church near Elgin.  Her whole family was very musical.  She then sang with the Elgin choir where she was a part of duets, trios, and quartets.  At age 18, she started playing the piano.  Her formal music education consisted of 12 piano lessons.  Vi served as an organist at the Bismarck Reformed Church for 20 years and 15 years here at Calvary Church.  Since her ‘retirement’ as a regular musician here, Vi has helped out a few Sundays – for which we are most grateful.

 
 

ROLAND KETTERLING

 A NOTE OF THANKS
On behalf of the Church Trustees, I would like to say “Thank You!” to Roland Ketterling for his many years of service as the custodian of Calvary United Methodist Church. Roland has taken care of our church home with tender loving care for years and has removed snow from the sidewalks during some very cold and windy North Dakota winters. Roland was very helpful as we updated the parsonage last year. Thank you, Roland, for your years of service, it is appreciated!
                                                                                                      Martha Holzer, Chairwoman
 
The building custodian is the person who creates the first impression of every facility. When we enter a facility, we unconsciously form an immediate opinion based on cleanliness, orderliness and even air quality (fresh scent, furniture polish, cleaning solutions). When the first impression is good, well then, everyone associated with the building benefits. And yet, when building maintenance is lacking, most of us judge – all be it unfairly, perhaps – the place needs a more attentive maintenance person. We are all stakeholders! Thank you, Roland, for making the church and everyone associated with it ‘look good’ for all these many years.
 
Roland ~You are wished much happiness and enjoyment as you continue to make many more Happy Trails, dear friend. Till next time. . .
 
 
All the pearls of wisdom gleaned from Roland through the years are too numerous to list. Here, a few favorites:
     In response to the number of years he and the lovely Lorraine had been married: “Yeah, I think       at least 90 years; 45 for her and 45 for me.”
 
     Upon contemplating a restaurant menu and placing an order: Roland stated to the server: “The first scoop of ice cream is priced at $1.29, and additional scoops are $.79. I don’t want the first scoop; I’d like to order the second scoop for $.79 and save myself a little money.”
 
     When working on an extremely tall step ladder changing light bulbs in the church entryway, Roland responded to an offer for assistance with a thoughtful, “Well, it would help if you could call 911 right after I fall off this thing.”
 
     And for those of us who know and appreciate German, Roland feels it is good for people to be interested in others and have contact with friends and acquaintances on a regular basis. A direct translation from German to English would be “It’s good to be under the people,” which is a favorite phrase of Roland.
 
     “My memory is good. It is just a little too short.”
 
 

BILL & BETTY LAPP

Backgrounds: Bill was born in Twin Falls, Idaho. His parents had originally been from North Dakota, and at age 12, he moved with his family to the Hebron-Glen Ullin area. The move was made with 7 people traveling in a 1939 DeSoto pulling a trailer. Upon completion of his schooling, Bill worked for area farmers. Betty Drury was born in Flasher, North Dakota, and moved to Bismarck to attend high school. She met Bill in May of her sophomore year, they were engaged in July, and married in September of that year. Bill had apparently noticed Betty sometime before they met and was quite smitten with her. He patiently waited to meet her and this finally happened at the bus depot, then located at 7th Street and Broadway Avenue in Bismarck and had a “lunch counter.”
 
Family: Betty and Bill are parents of four children who all live in the Bismarck area. They have grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
 
Vocations: As a young man, Bill continued working for various farmers in all aspects of agriculture – grains, feed crops, and livestock. Later on, he became a cab driver for 16 years working 12 hour shifts. His most distant fare took him by plane to Arizona to drive a North Dakota man back to Bismarck. The man who made the request to the cab company insisted it be Bill; because he would trust only Bill driving his vehicle. When he left the cab company, Bill worked as a service station attendant and became adept at vehicle maintenance and mechanics.
 
While their children were at home, Betty did daycare for other children in her home. She worked for a while as a housekeeper for Bismarck residents and then started as a bookkeeper at First Bank. She also worked at Provident Life Insurance, and most recently at Pride Incorporated, and part-time at Staples and the ND Right-to-Life Association.
 
Hobbies: In spite of working hard and raising a family, both Betty and Bill developed hobby interests as time and circumstances allowed. Betty enjoys reading, handwork, painting, knitting, building things, flower gardening and finishing birdhouses. Betty’s reputation as an excellent cook and baker preceded her to the visit for this article and upon request, she graciously agreed to share a recipe with us. Bill is a self-taught woodworker and built cradles (for which Betty made the mattresses and quilts). Among numerous other household and yard decorations, he also constructed birdhouses for different species of birds. Of course, Betty painted the birdhouses! Betty also has an interest in genealogy and hopes to expand her research in this area.
 
Did You Know? Bill was one of a blended family that numbered a total of 22 children. All the children had the same father; Bill’s father and his first wife had 5 children before her death. His father then remarried and he and his second wife (Bill’s mother), had an additional 17 children; one daughter died in infancy. Bill’s birth order is “right about in the middle” of the 17 children. The most children that were ever “at home” at the same time numbered 12.
 
And Betty tells us she practically grew up on a horse as a youngster! See the next page for Betty’s fun and unusual recipe.

 

BETTY'S EARTHQUAKE CAKE

1 cup coconut
1  cup nuts – chopped
1 chocolate cake mix
1 8 oz. package cream cheese – room temp
1 stick of margarine or butter – room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Grease a 9 x 13 cake pan. Sprinkle coconut and nuts on bottom of pan. Prepare cake mix per instructions on box and pour over nut mixture in pan. In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, margarine or butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy. Spoon mixture over cake – Betty said she envisions how the cake will be sliced and tries to put a portion of the cream cheese mixture on each piece. DO NOT STIR! Bake 45 – 50 minutes at 350 . 

 

LAURENCE & DORIS GRUEBELE

Backgrounds:

Doris and Laurence met in Tuttle, North Dakota, Doris’ home town, when Laurence and a cousin would drive from Pettibone, a neighboring community on weekend evenings.  The relationship started with just looking, to greeting, to eventually speaking.  They were married at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Tuttle and shortly thereafter moved to Las Vegas so Laurence could attend telegraphy school.  Upon completion of classes, Laurence took a job with Union Pacific Railroad in Colorado/Wyoming and served as a relay agent.  Shortly thereafter, the telegraph was replaced by more modern technology and telegraphy jobs became obsolete.

 

The Gruebeles moved back to North Dakota, and primarily through employment circumstances have lived in a number of places through the years.  Laurence’s work experiences include grain elevator and road construction and in 1961 he entered the US Army.  He was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas, and with exception of basic training, he and Doris were able to be together in Kansas living in an apartment off-base.  During this time, their daughter was born.

 

Upon Laurence’s discharge from the army, the three of them moved back to North Dakota and Laurence worked for Clairmont Construction before hiring on with Wachter Ranch as the foreman for the ranch and sand and gravel business.  During this time, they had a home built in Bismarck by another Calvary Church member who had a construction business, Harold Ziegler.  The Gruebeles spoke highly of Harold’s skills and talents as a builder, in addition to which “he was so nice to work with.”

 

The Gruebeles also managed the 18K Grocery Store which operated just south of Main Avenue on 9th Street here in Bismarck.  They specialized in homemade sausage, a variety of ethnic delicacies, and fresh cut meats.  They also ran the Northbrook Mall snack bar for a while, initially to give their high-school-age daughter experience in the work world.

 

When the store closed, Laurence asked his then adult daughter if she would consider team trucking with her Dad; she said yes.  Laurence bought a semi-truck/trailer fitted with a “pup” trailer (a slightly smaller trailer attached to the regular sized trailer.  He and his daughter made daily trips to Rapid City hauling dry cement powder from there to Bismarck’s Beyer’s (now known as LaFarge Dakota Inc.) Concrete ready mix.  The usual pattern was that the daughter would drive to Rapid City while Dad slept in the cab; Dad would drive back to Bismarck while the daughter slept.  They would arrive back in Bismarck very late at night, shower, have a big breakfast prepared by Doris, and repeat the day into night pattern.  They did this for 11 years!!!

 

These days, Laurence hauls sand and gravel in the Pettibone-Robinson-Tuttle area every day and Doris holds down the fort at home.

 

Family:

Two children:  a daughter - Cindy, a son – Jay; 3 grands:  a boy – Mitchell, soon to graduate from optometry school in Oregon; two girls:  Kaitlyn in Las Vegas and Jayla, a Bismarck senior in high school.

 

Hobbies:

Doris:  Birding and feeding birds year-round.  While living in Pettibone, she once observed 23 species in one year.  She is also fascinated by butterflies and collects Monarch chrysalides which she places in an indoor net enclosure and watches them morph into butterflies before releasing them outdoors.  She is on the mailing list for hundreds (or maybe thousands?) of catalogs so if you need a hard to find item, check with Doris!

Laurence:  Fishing; he fairly recently had an opportunity to ocean fish with his grandson which was quite exciting and very successful!.  He also loves everything about horses.  He no longer rides but he likes working with horses and just being around them.

 

Mel & Doris Lauer

Background:  Mel and Doris both were born in the McClusky, ND area.  They both put down deep roots and made this area their long-time home.  They met as school children in McClusky and “puppy love” (Mel’s words) flourished.  Then the unthinkable happened – Doris’ family moved to Regan, ND when she was 13.  Mel started corresponding with Doris by mail.  In June of 1945 at age 18, Mel was drafted into the army (more on that a little later).  The letter writing continued and upon Mel’s discharge from the service in 1947, he returned to North Dakota and he and Doris were married in June of that year.

 

Family:  The Lauer’s have five grown children; two daughters and three sons (two of the boys are twins).  One daughter lives on the farm established by Mel and Doris, one daughter lives in California, one son lives in Missouri, and two sons live in Bismarck.  The Lauers have 15 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.  In early June they attended a family gathering in Glen Ullin that included other in-laws.  They were one of two sets of great-great grandparents resulting in two five-generation photographs.

 

Vocation:  Following their marriage, Mel and Doris moved to a farm near the small community known as Pickardsville, about six miles west of McClusky.  It was a grain and beef cattle operation that they worked and lived on until May, 1996.  Mel stated that their chosen way of life was not an easy life, but he always enjoyed it and wasn’t anxious to leave it even when he knew it was time.  Doris was a stay-at-home Mom and homemaker which was more than a full-time job but she agreed with Mel that it was a good way to live.

 

Hobbies:  The Lauers were long-time bowlers:  Doris bowled for 41 years and Mel bowled for 42 years.  This hobby took them to many communities in North Dakota.  Mel and Doris indicated they felt they bowled long enough and didn’t miss the actual bowling but missed their bowling pals.  These days, Mel meets with a group of gentlemen daily for conversation and a light lunch; Doris enjoys a daily lengthy walk.

 

Spiritual Background:

Mel was raised in the EUB church and Doris was a Baptist before her marriage to Mel.  They both indicated that they always had been rooted in faith, but had not always been dutiful about worship attendance.  At Mel’s parents 50th anniversary celebration, his parents reflected on their life together and Mel’s mother stated, “The only thing I wish for is that all my children would attend church regularly.”  That simple statement influenced Mel and Doris into becoming more regular worshipers.

 

Do You Know Mel’s military history?  In a brief discussion about his military service early in our conversation, Mel mentioned that following basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was shipped to post-World War II Germany.  The country was in ruins – the devastation Mel witnessed was something he said he’ll never forget.  He casually mentioned that the army’s accommodations at the underground Hitler Youth School were beautiful and comfortable.  What an interesting lifetime experience for a very young man all the way from North Dakota!

 

And Do You Know how much food Doris’ has preserved in her lifetime?  When they lived on the farm and she was raising her family, she made time to tend a vegetable garden and, additionally, purchased a variety of fruits to preserve.  Many of those years she canned between two and three thousand jars of food product!  She said it really helped the grocery bill and they ate well all winter!

CLARENCE & MARILYN HUST

Background:  Marilyn was born and raised in Fargo.  When she was a high school sophomore, distant relatives living in Tappen, ND, needed a babysitter who would be available many hours a week.  Thus, Marilyn was called upon to take the babysitter position, live with the family for whom she worked, and transferred to Tappen High School which is where she and Clarence met.  Marilyn returned to Fargo to finish school; Clarence remained in Tappen and joined the army when he finished school.  Upon finishing his tour of duty, Clarence contacted Marilyn and as the saying goes, ‘the rest is history’.  Clarence and Marilyn were married in May, 1965 in Steele.  They started their married life in Tappen and then Clarence’s work took them to Towner, ND, and eventually back to Tappen before their move to Bismarck.
 

Family:  Clarence and Marilyn have 5 children, 6 grandchildren, and 3 step-great-grandchildren.  Their children are Kevin, Darin, Shannon, Kim, and Justin.  One daughter lives in California, another lives in Colorado, one son lives in Jamestown, and two sons live in the Bismarck area.

Vocations:  As a young working girl, Marilyn worked as a cashier in a movie theater.  When she and Clarence married, she became a full-time homemaker and mom until her youngest child was well situated in school.  Marilyn then worked at the Steele nursing home in the dietary department for two years.  Upon moving to Bismarck, she worked a total of 15 years at Missouri Slope Care Center until she became ill and had to take a year off work.  Following her recovery, she worked on an “as needed” basis until last year, when she fully retired.

Clarence was a milk truck driver, delivering product to what was then Winger Cheese.  From there he moved on to Northern Improvement, a sand, gravel and construction company,` and worked 35 years for that company.  As a heavy equipment operator, Clarence spent 28 of 35 years operating a piece of equipment known in the industry as a paver.  For those of us who appreciate newly resurfaced roadways, the paver is the machine that moves asphalt onto the prepared roadbed.  Clarence mentioned the names of other heavy equipment – some of which were recognizable and some were unknown to this writer!  Let’s just say if you have a big machine in need of an operator, Clarence is your man!

Hobbies: 

Marilyn enjoys crossword puzzles and creating items with plastic canvas.  She also sings in the Calvary Church choir and is active in the UMW.  She is currently serving as secretary for that group.

As many of you know, Clarence has music in his bones.  His very first guitar was a Roy Rogers toy.  When he was approaching his 8th grade graduation, he promised his mother he would pass the grade so that she would finance his purchase of a $15.00 guitar.  Mom came through with the advance and Clarence made good on his promise!

Spiritual Backgrounds:  Marilyn recalls her mother’s diligence in getting her children to Sunday worship services.  She grew up Lutheran but transferred to the EUB church when she and Clarence were married.

Did You Know. . Here’s an interesting fact – especially during the wild spring weather being experienced almost nationwide:  Marilyn was one block away from the path of the 1957 Fargo tornado!  How’s that for scary?

As a musician, Clarence is a member of three musical performers groups.  His largest audience to date was over 500 people attending the annual RSVP Recognition Banquet.

Clarence and Marilyn were one of the couples who participated in a marriage vow renewal ceremony conducted here at Calvary Church during the time Rev. Jim Cissell was pastor here.

 

LaDawn Eisenbeis

Background:  LaDawn was born in Hazen, North Dakota, and grew up on a farm near Beulah.  She graduated from Beulah high school in 1994 and then moved to Bismarck to attend the University of Mary where she majored in business.  After graduating from the University of Mary, she took time off from school and work to take care of her grandmother, Rosina Martin.  Rosina and Walter Martin were members of Calvary Church.   

Family:  LaDawn in an only child, as is her father.  Her mother has one sibling.   

Vocations:  After her Grandma Rosina passed away, LaDawn took a job position with Farmers Insurance Group.  Following a stint in the insurance industry, she took a part-time position with the Motor Vehicle Division of the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) which evolved into several positions over a one and a half year period of time.  Eventually, LaDawn accepted a full-time position with the DOT and worked there for nine years.  Recently, she accepted a position with the ND Department of Public Instruction. 

Hobbies:  Growing up in near-western North Dakota, LaDawn developed a fondness for rodeos and bullriding – happily as a fan and not as an active participant!  She also enjoys scrapbooking and has made and given scrapbooks as gifts.  She’s also part of a bowling league and plays sand volleyball in the summer. 

Spiritual Backgrounds:  During her young years, LaDawn attended the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zap, North Dakota and was baptized and confirmed there.  After living in Bismarck and attending church with her Grandpa Walter, LaDawn transferred her membership to Calvary. 

Did You Know. . .  LaDawn has a special interest in the 1950’s era.  She enjoys learning about that period of time and is quite fascinated with it.  She also is a devoted television follower of the Nascar circuit.
 
 
MARTIN & FRAN KETTERLING

Backgrounds:Fran Ketterling was born and grew up on a farm three miles north of Leola, South Dakota where she attended school from grades 1 to 12.  Martin was born on a farm near Long Lake, South Dakota and lived in Ashley until age 6.  His parents then ran a country store near Lehr where local farmers could sell cream and eggs and purchase supplies.  His father died in a well-drilling accident when Martin was 11 years of age and was the only child at home.  He and his mother moved back to the Long Lake area.  Fran and Martin met in high school and “took a shine” to one another; eventually marrying in the Reformed Church in Leola. 

Family:

Martin & Fran have 5 children (3 sons, 2 daughters) and 11 grandchildren (7 boys, 4 girls).  Two of their sons live in the Los Angeles suburbs, one son lives in Fargo, one daughter lives in Wichita, Kansas, and one daughter (Deb [Ken] Pilon) lives here in Bismarck.

A cute story shared by Fran:  When she suspected she might be pregnant even though they had four children and weren’t planning for more, she chose to share the news with Martin while he was at his workbench in their garage.  Fran said Martin continued with what he was doing and commented simply, “Oh, there’s always room for two more feet under the table.” 

Vocations:

Martin started in the construction trades – primarily plumbing – at the young age of 19.  This basically became his life’s work.  Job opportunities had the Ketterlings living in Aberdeen, South Dakota and eventually in Bismarck as Martin continued in his chosen field of work as a pipefitter.  Fran was a certified nursing assistant (CNA) off and on and worked at St. Luke’s Hospital (now Avera Health Care) in Aberdeen and at Medcenter One in Bismarck.

Hobbies:

Fran enjoys cooking and baking, especially baking.  She also likes to read when time permits.  Martin has highly developed “fix-it” skills and in the past year or so, Calvary Church and parsonage have been major recipients of his many talents.  He also likes to keep up with current world events.  The Ketterlings purchased a computer a couple of years ago and both of them spent a fair amount of time getting acquainted with it.  Fran admits to enjoying a computer game now and again!

Spiritual Backgrounds:

Fran was raised as a member of the Reformed Church.  Martin was raised Lutheran.  A number of life changes (marriage, relocating, “church shopping”, etc.) eventually brought them to Calvary where they have been members for over 20 years.

Did You Know. . .

The Ketterlings were foster parents to a young child who had a rocky start in life.  While the Ketterlings did not use this language exactly, here is what was heard:  ‘Patience and lots of love brought the child around.’  Who better to give patience and love than Martin and Fran?!!  The Ketterlings chose to adopt the child who became one of their 5.
 
 
OSCAR & HELENA EBEL
 

Background:

Oscar Ebel was born during the time his family lived on a farm south of Medina, North Dakota.  Helena was born to parents that lived in Tappen, North Dakota.  Their spiritual backgrounds is what brought the two together.  They met in their early 20’s when Oscar, whose family attended a Congregational Church, attended a spring cantata being presented at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Tappen.  It turns out that Helena (who, by the way, still sings in Calvary’s Adult Choir) was singing in the choir at a spring cantata.  The Ebels will be celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary in May.  As a young couple, they lived in Jamestown and then job opportunities eventually had them relocating to Bismarck.
 

Family:

Helena and Oscar have three children, two sons and one daughter, and 7 grandchildren.  One son lives in Minneapolis and is a general manager for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad.  The Ebel’s daughter lives in Colorado Springs and is home-schooling three teen-aged sons.  The Ebel’s other son lives in Jamestown and is a machinist for Champ, a Canadian manufacturing firm. 

Vocations:

Oscar worked for the railroad for many years of his adult life.  He started as a depot agent in Jamestown and then as times changed, he took the training required to become a train engineer.  He retired as an engineer after 20 years of service.

Helena worked for insurance adjusters, both in Jamestown and then in Bismarck. 

Hobbies:

Helena loves to read; her favorite books are Christian novels.  She also does embroidery work, and taught herself to crochet and knit.  Her mother stressed to her daughters the importance of learning to read crocheting and knitting patterns, and not learning only by seeing and doing.  Helena’s mom felt the ability to read patterns would greatly expand the capabilities for her daughters’ handwork.  For a woman of her generation, that was commendable insight.

Oscar is a genealogy buff and is currently researching his father’s side of the family.  Anyone with experience will tell you that genealogy is interesting, time consuming, and addictive.

Did You Know. . .

Oscar’s mother was 108 years of age when she passed from this life.  Born in 1895 and dying in 2003, her life touched three centuries.  She was the mother of 11 children, Oscar is the second youngest.
 
 
Gertrude Sailer

Background:

Gertrude was born during the time her parents lived on a farm north of Dodge, North Dakota.  She was one of 9 children.  They relocated and farmed northwest of Bismarck, near Beulah, North Dakota when Gertrude was a young woman. 

Family:

As the mother of three children, Gertrude and her husband raised two girls and a boy.  Her son and one daughter live in the Minneapolis area.  One daughter passed away at age 35 of cancer.  Two of her granddaughters live in Bismarck and she has a great-grandson serving in the military in Afghanistan.  Gertrude’s husband, Alvin, spent 29 years working for Montana Dakota Utilities.  Alvin passed away in 2006, also of cancer.

Vocations:

Hard work met its match in Gertrude.  She did painting (interior and  exterior), varnishing and wall papering – working only in new construction.  Bismarck has apparently been progressive for many years because Gertrude indicated she was always busy in this line of work.  Gertrude also managed the café at a local livestock sales barn.  Even though sales were generally conducted one day a week, it took many, many hours to prepare meals and pastries for sale day.  She used to bake 40 pies a day for the sales events – including scratch crusts.  Think about it  40 pie crusts in one day.  To a pie-pastry challenged individual, this is quite and accomplishment!

Hobbies:

Gertrude did not complain at all about working hard during her lifetime.  She actually found time in her schedule to do crocheting.  Her hands and eyes are not as crochet-friendly as they once were, so she currently doesn’t have a project in progress.  She does, however, enjoy the crafting activities at the Primrose Retirement Community were she resides.  She showed this visitor a recently completed project.  It consisted of a Christmas ornament that started its life as a clear glass ball.  The crafters were instructed how to apply paint on the inside of the glass ball by pouring small amounts of a selected color scheme into the glass ball and swirling it to obtain the desired effect.  The ornament Gertrude completed was absolutely lovely.

Spiritual Background:

The home Gertrude was raised in held faith and worship in high regard.  She remembers when she was a young child, traveling preachers would occasionally pass through the vicinity.  While her family was affiliated with an established church, her parents would be hospitable and courteous to those attempting to recruit members for other denominations.
 
 

 

Marian Barbie

Background:

Marian was born at Bismarck Hospital on November 14, 1927.  She recently celebrated her 83 birthday and stated she doesn’t mind if her age is known.  What a refreshing attitude!  Marian is youthful in many ways (more on that a little later).  Marian’s family lived in Menoken.  She graduated from Bismarck High School and Bismarck Junior College (now BSC).  Her husband, Don Barbie, was a returning veteran of World War II and they met while students at BJC.  Don and Marian were married in Grand Forks where Don graduated from UND with an engineering degree.  Married student housing was not as readily available at the time and Marian and Don lived in an 18-foot mobile home with no running water (except for a garden hose in the summer!), and no refrigeration, but they had an ice box.  Don’s work eventually took them to Kansas and to Pennsylvania.  They returned to Bismarck where Don worked as a bridge engineer with the ND Department of Transportation until his retirement. 

Family:

The Barbies had two daughters.  Dana is an hydrologist with a geological survey company in Austin, Texas.  Daughter Donna in Florida is a professor and program chair at Riddle Embry, a highly respected private flying institution in Daytona Beach.  Marian also has a granddaughter, Katrina Marie, who lives in Las Vegas. 

Vocations:

Marian, who is now retired, had an interesting employment history.  She worked for 6 years at what was then known as the Workers’ Compensation Bureau.  In 1965 she became Clerk of Court for the Burleigh County Court System.  Among other duties, Marian was responsible for issuing marriage licenses and functioning in the court room when accused persons made their pleas before a judge, impaneled jurors, and conducted court probate functions.  The job she held was an elected position and she ran for the position 3 times, winning all 3 times.  At some point, the court system underwent structural changes and district courts were formed from counties in specific areas.  This changed some of Marian’s job functions and she saw “the other side” as she became involved in mental health hearings, divorce proceedings, and child support collections.  Work for her was always interesting and challenging. 

Hobbies:

At one point in her life, Marian played bridge quite regularly.  Her favorite hobbies were gardening – especially flowers.  It would seem that someone of Marian’s style would have had a lovely, manicured yard and gardens.  Marian has a canine companion known by the name “Miss Daisy” who came to her via granddaughter Katrina.  Miss Daisy is a basset hound and has beautiful dark brown eyes. 

Spiritual Background:

In her youth in Menoken, church services were held at school.  Regular church attendance has been a part of Marian’s life. 

Did You Know. . .

Marian started bowling many, many years ago and at one time was involved in league bowling 3 plus nights a week.  She currently bowls in the senior league twice each week.

 

 
Connie and Merle Brink
 

Background:

Merle was born in Sheldon, Iowa and moved at the age of 5 to Corsica, South Dakota.  Connie was born in Parkston, South Dakota, a community near Corsica.  They both received their elementary and secondary educations in Corsica.  They met at the Reformed Church at very young ages and have been friends forever; both were age 19 when they married.

Family:

Connie and Merle have two children:  Shawn (Ali) and Cammy (Darrin) both of whom were born in Huron, South Dakota.  The Brinks have four grandchildren:  Margaret (13) and Tommy (12) Brink and Jerad (19) and Colton (17) Bosch. 

Vocations:

Following their marriage in 1967, Merle and Connie moved to Chicago, Illinois where Merle had accepted a position as a counter agent with was then North Central Airlines.  Merle was transferred to Huron, South Dakota after about a year and a half in Chicago, and then transferred to Bismarck in 1979.  Following a couple of mergers, North Central Airlines became part of Northwest Airlines.  In all, Merle worked for 39 years as an airline counter agent retiring in 2005.  The 39 years of service to the flying public (and the fact that Merle retained his sanity) attests to his friendly nature and positive attitude.  Connie was a stay-at-home Mom until their two children were out of high school, and then held a variety of work positions.  For seven years, Connie managed the Dollar Discount Store  the first dollar store in Bismarck.  She then worked at the group home on 34th and Rosser Avenue for seven years.  Connie was on the staff here at Calvary Church for three years as program coordinator.  Early in her employment here, Connie attended a four-day conference in Denver, Colorado on the topic of forming and sustaining active children and youth programs in congregations.  In addition to other duties, Connie developed the youth and children’s programs at Calvary Church and with assistance from Merle, organized the Calvary Kids program.  This was a well-attended, once a week after school program for children in kindergarten through grade 6.  Connie also served as the first full-time volunteer staff person for what is now known as Bismarck Community Church.  Connie, with Merle’s help, has been responsible for the development of children and youth church programs in at least three churches. 

Hobbies:

On the topic of hobbies, Connie and Merle agreed that their grandchildren are “Hobby One” and then simultaneously stated “travel.”  They both also greatly enjoy fishing.  The Brinks stated they love to follow the grandchildren’s numerous activities including, but not limited to, sports and music.  Merle also enjoys hunting game birds and singing.  Connie confesses to loving perusing rummage sales! 

Spiritual Background:

Connie and Merle both grew up in homes where faith and a Christian way of life were valued.  They profess that their belief in God and ongoing prayer are the backbone of their existence. 

Did You Know. . .

After Merle’s retirement, he developed a strong interest in food preparation and availed himself of an Italian cooking class at Bismarck State College.  In addition to Italian cuisine, Merle enjoys being a creative cook (‘cook speak’ for making up his own recipes!) and preparing specialty dishes.  Merle gave high marks to Connie’s cooking skills; she indicated that she is a ‘meat and potatoes’ cook.  According to Connie, while Merle has a flair toward the preparation of more sophisticated menu items, he also enjoys setting a table with candles and attractive tableware and linens.

At the conclusion of tour chat, Connie quoted Merle’s philosophy for living:  ‘Enjoy life every minute of every day no matter where you are or what you’re doing.’  Now there’s a bit of philosophy most of us could ponder.
 
 
    (This is a new page that will be appearing soon in the monthly newsletters.  The article will profile church members and families so we can get to know one another better.  Every person and family has a history and story about experiences and life’s events.  Interviews will be conducted by the church secretary who is actively seeking volunteers to get started with this project.  If you are willing to spend a little time letting us get to know you better, please call the church office at 255-4281.  An eager interviewer is standing by. . .)